What’s Really Going On With Climate Change

There are too many people espousing their uneducated, or simply malicious views about the problem of climate change. There are enough of them in some places as to have totally halted progress against one of the greatest threats facing not only our species, but countless others. It’s equivalent to having spotted an Earth-directed asteroid with perhaps 50 years advance notice, but the urgency to solve the similar problem of climate change is no where close to what we’d expect for that pending disaster.

If you want to understand the problem, there’s this useful guide. Bill McKibben also provided this easy to understand summary of the magnitude of the problem.

[If] our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do?

Here’s the answer: zero.

That’s a lot of not digging. Most people grew up with the idea of oil prospectors and the image of Jed Clampett getting sprayed with Black Gold is seared into the brains of everyone older than 35. Yet if we don’t stop digging in short years, we all might as well be at the bottom of a see-ment pool.

People like the Premier of my province, think the economy must come before our environment. People who understand the real world, and not just the virtual construct known as “the economy”, realize Wall’s view is hitting a very real wall of limited resources. Our economic system in domination now does not account for “externalities” such as air pollution. Capitalism’s solution to a species going extinct is to charge more for the dwindling supply of its corpses.


3 responses to “What’s Really Going On With Climate Change

  1. John, there’s an estimated $27-trillion in proven fossil fuel reserves said to be held by publicly traded fossil energy giants. Banks, pension funds and other institutional investors are heavily subscribed in the fossil fuel markets.

    Many prominent Brits including Lord Stern and the past and current governor of the Bank of England have repeatedly warned of this massively dangerous carbon bubble that could take down world stock markets and the global economy. They hoped to wean investors from these fossil assets but with little success.

    A corporate finance type I know explained why the Tar Sands will continue to run, even at unprofitable world oil prices. For starters, the executives of these companies are worried about their personal exposure if they should suddenly admit the existence of the carbon bubble after persuading shareholders to believe there was no such thing. Also, it’s better to run at a loss than shut the whole business down and wipe out the notional value of the reserves. Finally these assets are the goose that laid the golden egg for the executives who continue to enjoy indefensible salaries and bonuses so long as their firms draw breath.

    • *sigh* good points. Unless we change our economy to #basicincome, and leave past debts and profits behind, things are not going to work very well in the future on capitalism.

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